If you’re dreaming of taking a relaxing summer vacation, it might be time to take a break and do nothing. As Sadhguru explains below, beyond making plans to hit the beach, it’s essential to take substantial time to simply be.
Sadhguru: Only one who knows how to be intense and relaxed at once will know the true joy of activity. Right now the bane of humanity is that people have forgotten how to relax without turning lax, how to be intense without turning tense.
This is why a break becomes so important in our lives. At least once a year, it is important to consciously relax the survival instinct, drop all calculations, jettison all blueprints for self-improvement, and simply be.
Devote just one fortnight in a year to yourself. Let this be only for your inner wellbeing, not about family, work, or even your body or mind. Human life is always longing for expansion. Everyone wants to be a little more than what they are right now. But with a little awareness one can see that the real longing is for limitless expansion. The problem is shortsightedness. We believe that one more step, one more installment, will settle the longing. Essentially, we are snacking on distractions and missing out on the fundamental hunger for boundlessness.
If possible, go to an energized or consecrated space. Spend a few days without any distraction: No telephone, television, reading, no writing. And don’t try cooking up a new philosophy either. Just sit comfortably, eyes open and alert. Initially, you may feel like you’re going crazy, but after some time you will see clearly what your life energies are longing for. When you emerge from this period of incubation, your system will be so rejuvenated that you will be able to simply walk out of any problems that are plaguing you in the outer world. Above all, when you are not trying to be anything or get anywhere, you discover the joy of simply being.
When you are not trying to be anything or get anywhere, you discover the joy of simply being.
Spiritual practice or sadhana is not about getting somewhere. It is simply a device to stop the itch of constantly wanting to be somewhere else. Going somewhere is a delusion anyway. Sadhana matures you to the point when you realize that you don’t have to go anywhere or do anything to fulfill the ultimate purpose of life. Doing is just about the nature of ‘play’ you have chosen to participate in. Going into periods of silence will clearly bring this into your experience. It will bring the joy of activity back into life and help banish the unfortunate equation of life with stress as well as the pervasive ‘Thank-God-it’s-Friday’ culture.
Everything worth knowing is right here and now. There is nowhere to go. Once that itch is gone, you are at ease. There is nothing to be done. Just a little bit of waiting, that’s all. When everything is pleasant within you, waiting is not a big deal. They say how long a minute is just depends on which side of the bathroom door you are on! For someone inside, a minute is no time at all. For someone outside, a minute can be an eternity!
The term ‘spiritual journey’ is actually a misnomer. There is no journey. The word ensures that you do not confuse relaxation with inertia. But a journey implies distance. And there is no distance. Take a sadhana break to reflect on this simple question: what is the distance between you and yourself?
What is the distance between you and yourself?
A retreat can awaken you to the living realization that abiding joy and freedom are right here within you. Once you know this experientially, you find that activity can be both rejuvenating and joyful. One who knows the true joy of action will neither seek nor need a break.”